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News From 2012

Leanne Wagner McGee, Newton County Extension agent, looks on as Nia McCalphia and Jemariaus Ford prepare to shoot arrows at their targets during the Wildlife Youth Day at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station Nov. 16. (MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 20, 2012 - Filed Under: Wildlife Youth Education, Environment, Wildlife

NEWTON – Newton County sixth-graders got a close look at some of Mississippi’s wildlife on Nov. 16.

Mississippi State University’s Coastal Plain Branch Experiment Station held its fourth annual Wildlife Youth Day. Students rotated through four educational stations, including archery technique and safety, Mississippi mammals, Mississippi reptiles and amphibians and a forestry-themed obstacle course. The students viewed live and preserved mammals, reptiles and amphibians. They also watched a bird dog training demonstration.

Cassandra Kirkland
November 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The state’s families have a new ally in the Mississippi State University Extension Service with the appointment of a family life specialist.

Cassandra Kirkland brings research, practical experience and passion to her new position in the School of Human Sciences.

Poinsettias join Christmas trees as the two plants that instantly signal the Christmas holiday season. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 19, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens

I think most people will agree that besides the Christmas tree, the poinsettia is the plant that best accentuates the Christmas holiday season.

Thanksgiving week kicks off the poinsettia-buying season. When you go to get yours, prepare for the truly remarkable variety of poinsettia colors available.

Nathan Little
November 16, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – A Mississippi State University graduate student earned a national award for his paper on the biology of insect pests.

Nathan Little of Charleston, a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology, received the annual student award titled “Appreciation for the Natural History of Insect Pests.” His paper on subterranean termites was described as the most interesting and novel peer-reviewed research paper among more than 20 applications that were reviewed this year from students around the world.

November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Food

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University Extension Service will focus on food supply safety in free workshops for individuals and businesses in the food industry.

Five separate, day-long food defense workshops around the state will be offered to farm owners and managers, feed suppliers, processing plant managers, ingredient suppliers, and people in other farming, production and processing support industries. Lunch and materials will be provided. Pre-registration one week in advance is required.

The sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Three intensive days of courses in early December will give Mississippi farmers significant information they need as they prepare for the 2013 production season.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering the annual Row Crops Short Course Dec. 3-5 on campus at the Bost Extension Center. Producers can attend free of charge if they complete registration by Nov. 30. Registration is $40 after Nov. 30 and at the door.

November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farm Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE – With Mississippi’s bumper corn crop on target to break records, proper post-harvest handling is essential, especially efforts to prevent deaths by grain entrapment.

As farmers plant more grain crops, on-site storage bins are popping up all over the state.

Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center is one of five rice-producing organizations participating in the Uniform Regional Rice Nursery, a rice research cooperative. (Photograph by DREC Communications/Rebekah Ray).
November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Rice

By Dr. Rebekah Ray
MSU Delta Research and Extension Center

STONEVILLE – The rice breeding program at Mississippi State University’s 4,800-acre Delta Research and Extension Center is part of a regional program that tests the viability of experimental rice varieties.

November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Technology

With Thanksgiving upon us, that means Black Friday chaos is soon to follow. Big box stores are chasing every dollar, and many are even choosing to open on Thanksgiving rather than wait until Friday’s wee morning hours.

There is another option to consider if you are looking to save money this holiday season, and this option will help your local economy. Many businesses take part in a national event known as Small Business Saturday.

One way to prevent the arrival of termites in the house is to keep stacked wood off the ground and away from exterior walls. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Insects, Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Many Mississippians own a fireplace for the pleasure and comfort it provides on cold winter nights, but if they’re not careful, the firewood can harbor unwanted guests.

In the winter, the desire to have a handy woodpile can open the door for termite problems. Blake Layton, entomologist with the MSU Extension Service, urged those with fireplaces not to stack wood against the outside wall of the house.

Mississippi Master Naturalist Alice Butler, program director Chris Boyd, Master Naturalist David Butler, and Master Naturalist Carole McRight help during a 2009 cleanup day at the Biloxi High School Nature Trail. The Master Naturalist Program is one of many volunteer programs that offers citizens training and certification in exchange for service hours returned to the community. (MSU Ag Communications/file photo)
November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Community, Leadership

JACKSON -- Service is a popular way to celebrate the holidays, but volunteerism is a year-round matter for many.

Members of programs such as the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, or MHV, and the Mississippi Master Gardeners volunteer in their communities every day.
Mississippi State University’s Extension Service facilitates both programs.

Jim Davis of Olive Branch, left, with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, learns how to use new software from Scott Samson, professor with the Extension Service and the Geosystems Research Institute at Mississippi State University, during a class in Hernando on Oct. 17, 2012. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Linda Breazeale)
November 15, 2012 - Filed Under: Remote Sensing Technology, Community

MISSISSIPPI STATE – An advanced database training project conducted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service is saving the state millions of dollars, improving skills and making jobs easier.

Ornamental kale and cabbage brighten up winter landscapes and can be added to salads and stir-fries. The Pigeon Purple cabbage variety forms round, semisolid heads with outer leaves that are dark green with purplish veins. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
November 12, 2012 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens

If you haven’t started planting your winter color, rest assured that it’s not too late. But when shopping at the garden center, resist the temptation to head straight to the pansies and violas. Consider adding some colorful ornamental kale and cabbage to your garden and landscape.

November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Animal Health, Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has awarded the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine a grant to support the college’s Mobile Veterinary Clinic.

The $65,000 grant will cover some of the expenses incurred as the Mobile Veterinary Clinic travels to 15 North Mississippi animal shelters, where students spay and neuter homeless animals. The program is funded solely by grants and donations.

November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Technology

With today’s increased reliance on technology, many insurance companies are moving their services online and making them available to customers on their mobile devices.

Having gone my entire life without so much as a speeding ticket, the past few months have proven very trying. In fact, I’m now on a first-name basis with my insurance agent’s assistant, and I’m pretty sure we will be exchanging Christmas cards this year.

November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Family

JACKSON -- Christmas gifts have begun to fill the secret hiding places of shoppers everywhere, and unfortunately, thieves know it.

Ted Gordon, safety and risk management director for Mississippi State University’s Extension Service, said shoppers should take precautions to avoid becoming victims of crime this holiday season.

“It is a fact that crime increases during the holiday season,” Gordon said. “So everyone should be even more mindful of personal safety.”

Gordon said shoppers should go with a companion and avoid shopping after dark.

Holiday treats such as these cupcakes tempt partygoers, making wise choices difficult for those with dietary restrictions. (File Photo)
November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Food, Food Safety, Nutrition

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Holiday snacks can tempt anyone to let good intentions go, but for those with food allergies or special dietary needs, these treats can cause serious problems.

Brent Fountain, a registered dietitian and nutrition specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said planning ahead is the best way to handle the challenge of holiday cooking and eating for those with dietary limits.

For diabetics, Fountain said the best course of action is to not stray far from the recommended eating pattern, even in holiday and party situations.

November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Family, Food and Health

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, cold and flu season threatens to steal holiday happiness, but a healthy immune system can prevent sickness from ruining the most wonderful time of the year.

Brent Fountain, registered dietician and associate Extension professor in Mississippi State University’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, said a healthy diet can strengthen the immune system.

Jacob of West Virginia, pictured with his dad, Jeff, sported the required minimum of 500 inches fluorescent orange for visibility and safety when he got his first-ever whitetail deer during his Catch-A-Dream hunt in Monticello, Mississippi. The Catch-A-Dream Foundation provides outdoor experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses. (Photo courtesy of the Catch-A-Dream Foundation)
November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – For many Mississippi families, the holidays are about hunting and eating home-cooked meals, and safety should be as high a priority as sweet potato pie.

“No one wants to spend their holidays in the hospital or at home recovering from an injury, so hunters need to practice common-sense safety precautions,” said Bronson Strickland, a wildlife management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and associate professor in MSU’s Forest and Wildlife Research Center.

Winter's chill presents a perfect opportunity for bird watching at feeders set up to accommodate feathered guests. (File photo)
November 8, 2012 - Filed Under: Environment, Urban and Backyard Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Warm-hearted Mississippians often turn their attention to their furry and feathered neighbors when temperatures get cold, putting out feeders to care for them over the winter.

Birds are the most commonly fed wildlife, and stores stock a variety of feeders, seed mixes and houses for them.